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November 13, 2005

Music travels

I worked in Music ministry from 1971 to 1988. During that time I wrote a lot of music, and published nine cassettes of Liturgical music. Actually I would only admit to writing about one third of it. Some of the older stuff is really not very good music. But there are a few pieces I wrote that I would not mind praying again as part of the liturgy, especially some of my psalm settings.

But it is amazing how music travels. I just recieved this email:

Hello Fr Keyes from Papua New Guinea.

I am sure you are amazed that an email is coming from a place that is probably unknown to you. The reason I am emailing to you is because we usually sing a Lord's Prayer Hymn (Our Father) that is composed by you.

I would like to know if there is a recording of this song, and under what album it was recorded under, and if it is sold anywhere in Australian Catholic shops.

Thank you and God Bless.

The piece in question took an Honorable Mention at an NPM composition competition in 1979. It is not a song that I would use anymore simply because I am not sure the refrain format works liturgically. However, I would be most interested in hearing hgow a song I wrote in the '70s now translates into another culture. I may send them my recording in exchange for a recording of their choir doing in.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at November 13, 2005 6:52 PM

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"Some of the older stuff is really not very good music."

Except for the geniuses like Mozart, that's true for pretty much all of us.

That said, I always found your music, especially your "late period" material, to be particularly prayerful, well-crafted, and written with the Big Goal in mind, namely worship and sanctification.

I too find myself wincing on occasion at the favorites my friends have from my catalogue, but it may well be a mark of God's mysterious grace that people were finding something worthy in them. I always thought your offerings were a significant cut above the rest of the RPI music, and I'm not at all surprised they still make a fruitful impact to this day.

Posted by: Todd at November 14, 2005 8:41 AM

One of my most fond memories of my trip to Newark was sitting in your living room listening to some of your recordings. A lot of very good material.

Although it does make me kind of sad that in our universal Church there are people singing a Fr. Keyes' Our Father, but there are also those who have never heard the latin chant version. No offense to your piece (I've never heard it), but the complete disregard most musicians have for the beautiful chants of our past, present and future makes me very sad.

Posted by: Matthew Meloche at November 15, 2005 10:02 AM

What do Gasparians like yourself think about St. Januarius?

Obviously, the blood of any martyr is not the same as the physical Blood of the One Redeemer. Still, a miracle connected with the blood of a Witness unto Death of the Lord must have some sort of mystical connection in His Body.

Posted by: Jeff at November 21, 2005 7:45 PM

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